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Ian Lowe Posted by Ian Lowe January 15, 2020

It’s unanimous – SaaS CMS is the future

The big web content management (WCM) vendors have finally come around. Adobe just announced that they’re offering a “SaaS-like” version of their AEM product, and Sitecore, a few months ago, announced that they’re writing a new version of their software that will be SaaS.

After 20 years in the SaaS world, Crownpeak would just like to say, “welcome to the future.”

Clearly, Sitecore and Adobe have been seeing the same change in the market that we have: more and more customers demanding true SaaS solutions for their web content needs. This new-found awareness of the benefits of SaaS, coupled with our solid position in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, has created a lot of positive buzz around Crownpeak. Customers are coming to us pre-educated on the value true SaaS CMS can offer. For Sitecore and Adobe, it must have been infuriating to have customer after customer pull them off their shortlists because they couldn’t bring SaaS to the table.

We’re glad that Sitecore and Adobe have finally come around, but we need to acknowledge that their new offerings are incomplete and playing catch-up to our original, best-in-class architecture.

  • Sitecore's SaaS software (which won't be available until Summer 2020) will have very limited functionality for the foreseeable future. In their own words, “The initial release will focus on providing core content management functionality, with subsequent releases adding features to provide capabilities consistent with Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) and, eventually, Sitecore Experience Platform (XP).”
  • Adobe's approach is to try to claim the benefits of true-SaaS without the underlying architecture to make it happen. Adobe’s press release calls the product “SaaS-like” and runs into the same problems as their traditional product, especially when they start talking about managed services.

The tide is turning to SaaS

Over the past year, in several head-to-head deals with other WCM vendors, we’ve witnessed our competitors claim to be SaaS or allude to being SaaS by talking about their cloud products. However, when we stand up Crownpeak’s unique architecture and offerings, we still deliver market-beating TCO, time-to-value, flexibility, integration, and security. Something that traditional WCM’s just can’t handle out of the box. 

In fact, we enjoy talking to customers who are already committed to a Sitecore or Adobe contract, since we can often save them 6- or 7-digit savings every year in carrying costs such as servers, infrastructure, maintenance, upgrades, and additional developer costs.

Our competitors will often talk about their “cloud” or “cloud services” offering acting like it provides the benefits of true SaaS. True software-as-a-service means always being on the latest version, no upgrades or downtime, and the security benefits of everyone always being on the current patches. 

Ask your vendor these eight questions – and be careful if the answer is “managed services.” This generally means the underlying issues of upgrades, downtime and incompatibilities are still there, you’re just paying the vendor to help you with them.

Eight questions to ask when evaluating a SaaS CMS

Question Crownpeak’s answer Other vendor’s answer
Are you true multi-tenant SaaS? Yes  
Can you guarantee we’ll automatically be on the latest version that includes new capabilities? Yes. All customers are automatically on the latest version.  
Does my code need to be tested before I can adopt a new version or patch? No. Upgrades are silent and transparent, which means no code testing is required.  
Who’s responsible for the uptime, maintenance, availability, and performance of the CMS editing environment? We are, and we guarantee a 99.9% uptime, and can optionally offer you 99.99% as well.   
What are the primary developer skills I need to source? Are specialist developers needed? Crownpeak leverages primarily front-end developers comfortable in creating static or dynamic sites with any framework (straight HTML, JavaScript, react, angular, etc.).  
What does implementation look like? Crownpeak uniquely allows enterprise web development using no-code/low-code processes making implementation 10%-25% of the effort of competing platforms.  
What kind of security standards do you have? Crownpeak carries its own SOC2, FISMA, and Privacy Shield certifications. Make sure that the vendor you’re working with tells you about their certifications, not those of their underlying hosting provider.  
Do you support true headless scenarios? Yes. And we’ve pushed the boundary even further with Headless 2.0 giving you full CMS capabilities in headless projects.  


Make a SaaS CMS your future now

We can’t talk enough about the benefits of SaaS and the fact that Crownpeak’s is truly cloud-native. Of course, we welcome other players to the landscape, but buyer’s beware. If you are curious how much a native SaaS solution can save you, or perhaps are even an Adobe or Sitecore customer, take our carrying cost calculator for a spin. You might be surprised.

You can also check out our informative ebook, “The 11 Most Important WCM Requirements to Include in Your RFP” to learn about the differences you should know when it comes to selecting your next CMS.